World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.
WHAT CAN I DO ON WORLD AIDS DAY?
World AIDS Day is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. Most people do this by wearing an HIV awareness red ribbon on the day.
Getting tested is the only way to find out if you have HIV. If you are living with HIV, starting treatment early means you can live a full, healthy and productive life. Free and confidential HIV tests are available from NHS sexual health clinics, charity testing services, many GP surgeries, pharmacies or online for self-testing at home.
THE RED RIBBON
The red ribbon is the universal symbol of awareness and support for people living with HIV. Wearing a ribbon is a great way to raise awareness on and during the run up to World AIDS Day.
- Awareness-raising activities take place around the globe.
- Many people wear a red ribbon, the universal symbol of awareness of, support for and solidarity with people living with HIV.
- People living with HIV make their voice heard on issues important in their lives.
- Groups of people living with HIV and other civil society organisations involved in the AIDS response mobilise in support of the communities they serve and to raise funds.
- Events highlight the current state of the epidemic.
South Africa has been relentless in its mission to turn the HIV, AIDS, and TB epidemics around and there are notable achievements to celebrate. A review of our efforts in addressing the HIV and AIDS epidemic over the past 20 years. In 2010 government also scaled up its antiretroviral treatment programme. A further expansion is planned from January 2015 to bring South Africa in line with World Health Organisation treatment guidelines. As part of this, the Department of Health will start HIV-positive patients with a CD4 count of 500 or less on antiretroviral treatment, as opposed to the present CD4 count of 350.
READ MORE HERE ABOUT HIV AND AIDS IN SOUTH AFRICA
World AIDS Day remains as relevant today as it’s always been, reminding people and governments that HIV has not gone away. There is still a critical need for increased funding for the AIDS response, to increase awareness of the impact of HIV on people’s lives, to end stigma and discrimination and to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.
READ ABOUT HOW SOUTH AFRICA IS FIGHTING BACK:-